Ex-NBA star Ben Gordon gets candid about suicide

He has "thought about killing" himself, he wrote in a piece for the Players' Tribune.

Ben Gordon #8 of the Charlotte Bobcats reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bobcats 121-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In a candid personal essay, former NBA star Ben Gordon opens up about his struggles with his mental health in the hopes to help others like him.

Writing on his experiences for the Players’ Tribune on life after his NBA career came to an end, he opened up on having suicidal thoughts.

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“Where Is My Mind?” opens with the heaviness of his battle: “There was a point in time when I thought about killing myself every single day for about six weeks.”

“I would be up on the roof of my apartment building at four o’clock in the morning, just pacing to the edge of the ledge, looking over – pacing back and forth, back and forth – just thinking, I’m really about to do it, B. I’m about to escape from al this sh–.”

Gordon admits to feeling helpless after leaving the league and felt “manic-depressive” and dealt with severe panic attacks. As a result, he suffered from sleepless nights and once commented to a friend that he felt like a “dead man walking.”

“I had lost my career, my identity, and my family all pretty much simultaneously,” he said. “I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping.”

He opened about his arrests and a judge sentenced him to court-mandated therapy for 18 months, which he said helped him to process his personal traumas.

“The goal doesn’t have to be perfection. It can just be peace and acceptance with yourself,” Gordon says in the essay.

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He adds: “I’m not perpetually crazy. I had a moment. I got help for that moment. I got to know myself from that moment. And I’m still working through some things, no doubt. There’s still some trauma I dealt with that I’m not ready to tell to the world about yet.”

People shared their support and gratitude to the NBA player for sharing his experiences with mental health.

The Players’ Tribune is a media company founded by Derek Jeter that provides athletes the platform to connect with fans with stories in their own words and insight on the world of sports.